218 research outputs found

    Boosting Multi-Core Reachability Performance with Shared Hash Tables

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    This paper focuses on data structures for multi-core reachability, which is a key component in model checking algorithms and other verification methods. A cornerstone of an efficient solution is the storage of visited states. In related work, static partitioning of the state space was combined with thread-local storage and resulted in reasonable speedups, but left open whether improvements are possible. In this paper, we present a scaling solution for shared state storage which is based on a lockless hash table implementation. The solution is specifically designed for the cache architecture of modern CPUs. Because model checking algorithms impose loose requirements on the hash table operations, their design can be streamlined substantially compared to related work on lockless hash tables. Still, an implementation of the hash table presented here has dozens of sensitive performance parameters (bucket size, cache line size, data layout, probing sequence, etc.). We analyzed their impact and compared the resulting speedups with related tools. Our implementation outperforms two state-of-the-art multi-core model checkers (SPIN and DiVinE) by a substantial margin, while placing fewer constraints on the load balancing and search algorithms.Comment: preliminary repor

    Randomised controlled trial of gabapentin in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type 1 [ISRCTN84121379]

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    BACKGROUND: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type one (CRPS I) or formerly Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is a disabling syndrome, in which a painful limb is accompanied by varying symptoms. Neuropathic pain is a prominent feature of CRPS I, and is often refractory to treatment. Since gabapentin is an anticonvulsant with a proven analgesic effect in various neuropathic pain syndromes, we sought to study the efficacy of the anticonvulsant gabapentin as treatment for pain in patients with CRPS I. METHODS: We did a randomized double blind placebo controlled crossover study with two three-weeks treatment periods with gabapentin and placebo separated by a two-weeks washout period. Patients started at random with gabapentin or placebo, which was administered in identical capsules three times daily. We included 58 patients with CRPS type 1. RESULTS: Patients reported significant pain relief in favor of gabapentin in the first period. Therapy effect in the second period was less; finally resulting in no significant effect combining results of both periods. The CRPS patients had sensory deficits at baseline. We found that this sensory deficit was significantly reversed in gabapentin users in comparison to placebo users. CONCLUSIONS: Gabapentin had a mild effect on pain in CRPS I. It significantly reduced the sensory deficit in the affected limb. A subpopulation of CRPS patients may benefit from gabapentin

    Annihilation of structural defects in chalcogenide absorber films for high-efficiency solar cells

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    Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.In polycrystalline semiconductor absorbers for thin-film solar cells, structural defects may enhance electron-hole recombination and hence lower the resulting energy conversion efficiency. To be able to efficiently design and optimize fabrication processes that result in high-quality materials, knowledge of the nature of structural defects as well as their formation and annihilation during film growth is essential. Here we show that in co-evaporated Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 absorber films the density of defects is strongly influenced by the reaction path and substrate temperature during film growth. A combination of high-resolution electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, and X-ray diffraction shows that Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 absorber films deposited at low temperature without a Cu-rich stage suffer from a high density of - partially electronically active - planar defects in the {112} planes. Real-time X-ray diffraction reveals that these faults are nearly completely annihilated during an intermediate Cu-rich process stage with [Cu]/([In] + [Ga]) > 1. Moreover, correlations between real-time diffraction and fluorescence analysis during Cu-Se deposition reveal that rapid defect annihilation starts shortly before the start of segregation of excess Cu-Se at the surface of the Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 film. The presented results hence provide direct insights into the dynamics of the film-quality-improving mechanism

    Nuclear receptor coregulator SNP discovery and impact on breast cancer risk

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Coregulator proteins are "master regulators", directing transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of many target genes, and are critical in many normal physiological processes, but also in hormone driven diseases, such as breast cancer. Little is known on how genetic changes in these genes impact disease development and progression. Thus, we set out to identify novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within SRC-1 (NCoA1), SRC-3 (NCoA3, AIB1), NCoR (NCoR1), and SMRT (NCoR2), and test the most promising SNPs for associations with breast cancer risk.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The identification of novel SNPs was accomplished by sequencing the coding regions of these genes in 96 apparently normal individuals (48 Caucasian Americans, 48 African Americans). To assess their association with breast cancer risk, five SNPs were genotyped in 1218 familial BRCA1/2-mutation negative breast cancer cases and 1509 controls (rs1804645, rs6094752, rs2230782, rs2076546, rs2229840).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Through our resequencing effort, we identified 74 novel SNPs (30 in NCoR, 32 in SMRT, 10 in SRC-3, and 2 in SRC-1). Of these, 8 were found with minor allele frequency (MAF) >5% illustrating the large amount of genetic diversity yet to be discovered. The previously shown protective effect of rs2230782 in SRC-3 was strengthened (OR = 0.45 [0.21-0.98], p = 0.04). No significant associations were found with the other SNPs genotyped.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>This data illustrates the importance of coregulators, especially SRC-3, in breast cancer development and suggests that more focused studies, including functional analyses, should be conducted.</p

    Prevalence of pathogenic BRCA1/2 germline mutations among 802 women with unilateral triple-negative breast cancer without family cancer history

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    Background: There is no international consensus up to which age women with a diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and no family history of breast or ovarian cancer should be offered genetic testing for germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 (gBRCA) mutations. Here, we explored the association of age at TNBC diagnosis with the prevalence of pathogenic gBRCA mutations in this patient group. Methods: The study comprised 802 women (median age 40 years, range 19–76) with oestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 negative breast cancers, who had no relatives with breast or ovarian cancer. All women were tested for pathogenic gBRCA mutations. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore the association between age at TNBC diagnosis and the presence of a pathogenic gBRCA mutation. Results: A total of 127 women with TNBC (15.8%) were gBRCA mutation carriers (BRCA1: n = 118, 14.7%; BRCA2: n = 9, 1.1%). The mutation prevalence was 32.9% in the age group 20–29 years compared to 6.9% in the age group 60–69 years. Logistic regression analysis revealed a significant increase of mutation frequency with decreasing age at diagnosis (odds ratio 1.87 per 10 year decrease, 95%CI 1.50–2.32, p &lt; 0.001). gBRCA mutation risk was predicted to be &gt; 10% for women diagnosed below approximately 50 years. Conclusions: Based on the general understanding that a heterozygous mutation probability of 10% or greater justifies gBRCA mutation screening, women with TNBC diagnosed before the age of 50 years and no familial history of breast and ovarian cancer should be tested for gBRCA mutations. In Germany, this would concern approximately 880 women with newly diagnosed TNBC per year, of whom approximately 150 are expected to be identified as carriers of a pathogenic gBRCA mutation

    Polygenic risk scores indicate extreme ages at onset of breast cancer in female BRCA1/2 pathogenic variant carriers

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    BACKGROUND: Clinical management of women carrying a germline pathogenic variant (PV) in the BRCA1/2 genes demands for accurate age-dependent estimators of breast cancer (BC) risks, which were found to be affected by a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here we assess the contribution of polygenic risk scores (PRSs) to the occurrence of extreme phenotypes with respect to age at onset, namely, primary BC diagnosis before the age of 35 years (early diagnosis, ED) and cancer-free survival until the age of 60 years (late/no diagnosis, LD) in female BRCA1/2 PV carriers. METHODS: Overall, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, and ER-negative BC PRSs as developed by Kuchenbaecker et al. for BC risk discrimination in female BRCA1/2 PV carriers were employed for PRS computation in a curated sample of 295 women of European descent carrying PVs in the BRCA1 (n=183) or the BRCA2 gene (n=112), and did either fulfill the ED criteria (n=162, mean age at diagnosis: 28.3 years, range: 20 to 34 years) or the LD criteria (n=133). Binomial logistic regression was applied to assess the association of standardized PRSs with either ED or LD under adjustment for patient recruitment criteria for germline testing and localization of BRCA1/2 PVs in the corresponding BC or ovarian cancer (OC) cluster regions. RESULTS: For BRCA1 PV carriers, the standardized overall BC PRS displayed the strongest association with ED (odds ratio (OR) = 1.62; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16–2.31, p<0.01). Additionally, statistically significant associations of selection for the patient recruitment criteria for germline testing and localization of pathogenic PVs outside the BRCA1 OC cluster region with ED were observed. For BRCA2 PV carriers, the standardized PRS for ER-negative BC displayed the strongest association (OR = 2.27, 95% CI: 1.45–3.78, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: PRSs contribute to the development of extreme phenotypes of female BRCA1/2 PV carriers with respect to age at primary BC diagnosis. Construction of optimized PRS SNP sets for BC risk stratification in BRCA1/2 PV carriers should be the task of future studies with larger, well-defined study samples. Furthermore, our results provide further evidence, that localization of PVs in BC/OC cluster regions might be considered in BC risk calculations for unaffected BRCA1/2 PV carriers

    Identification of a DMBT1 polymorphism associated with increased breast cancer risk and decreased promoter activity

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    According to present estimations, the unfavorable combination of alleles with low penetrance but high prevalence in the population might account for the major part of hereditary breast cancer risk. Deleted in Malignant Brain Tumors 1 (DMBT1) has been proposed as a tumor suppressor for breast cancer and other cancer types. Genomewide mapping in mice further identified Dmbt1 as a potential modulator of breast cancer risk. Here, we report the association of two frequent and linked single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with increased breast cancer risk in women above the age of 60 years: DMBT1 c.-93C>T, rs2981745, located in the DMBT1 promoter; and DMBT1 c.124A>C, p.Thr42Pro, rs11523871(odds ratio [OR]=1.66, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.21-2.29, P=0.0017; and OR=1.66; 95% CI=1.21-2.28, P=0.0016, respectively), based on 1,195 BRCA1/2 mutation-negative German breast cancer families and 1,466 unrelated German controls. Promoter studies in breast cancer cells demonstrate that the risk-increasing DMBT1 -93T allele displays significantly decreased promoter activity compared to the DMBT1 -93C allele, resulting in a loss of promoter activity. The data suggest that DMBT1 polymorphisms in the 5'-region are associated with increased breast cancer risk. In accordance with previous results, these data link decreased DMBT1 levels to breast cancer risk

    Fine-mapping of the HNF1B multicancer locus identifies candidate variants that mediate endometrial cancer risk.

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    Common variants in the hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 homeobox B (HNF1B) gene are associated with the risk of Type II diabetes and multiple cancers. Evidence to date indicates that cancer risk may be mediated via genetic or epigenetic effects on HNF1B gene expression. We previously found single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the HNF1B locus to be associated with endometrial cancer, and now report extensive fine-mapping and in silico and laboratory analyses of this locus. Analysis of 1184 genotyped and imputed SNPs in 6608 Caucasian cases and 37 925 controls, and 895 Asian cases and 1968 controls, revealed the best signal of association for SNP rs11263763 (P = 8.4 × 10(-14), odds ratio = 0.86, 95% confidence interval = 0.82-0.89), located within HNF1B intron 1. Haplotype analysis and conditional analyses provide no evidence of further independent endometrial cancer risk variants at this locus. SNP rs11263763 genotype was associated with HNF1B mRNA expression but not with HNF1B methylation in endometrial tumor samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Genetic analyses prioritized rs11263763 and four other SNPs in high-to-moderate linkage disequilibrium as the most likely causal SNPs. Three of these SNPs map to the extended HNF1B promoter based on chromatin marks extending from the minimal promoter region. Reporter assays demonstrated that this extended region reduces activity in combination with the minimal HNF1B promoter, and that the minor alleles of rs11263763 or rs8064454 are associated with decreased HNF1B promoter activity. Our findings provide evidence for a single signal associated with endometrial cancer risk at the HNF1B locus, and that risk is likely mediated via altered HNF1B gene expression
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